How to Fry an Egg

Patrick Mooney
You'll be frying eggs in no time with these tips

How to Fry Happy

The secret behind frying an egg is to get a really good non-stick pan. This is so important that I have three 8-inch non-stick pans that I bring to work with me every day and take home every night. This may sound extreme to some, but when you take into account that I may need to make up to 20 omelets and many fried eggs each day, you see that taking care of the equipment is key. One good 8-inch pan should take care of all your egg needs.Remember not to scrub the pan. Instead, rinse it in hot water and dry it with a soft cloth. Never put anything metal in it and it will last years. You will also need to get a good rubber spatula.

Where to Get This Stuff

You could go to that cool cooking equipment store they have at the mall. You know the one, the name is in French and all the prices are in triple digits. If how much you pay for your pan is that important, then by all means go have fun. But the real deal is this: a decent pan can cost as little as $20. Believe me, an expensive pan is not going help if you don't know how to fry an egg. Practice will make you a better cook. If you can't find a restaurant supply store in your town or if you just want to see what professionals are using, go to Surfas and take a look around. Yes, you will find some very expensive stuff there, but you will also see that the professional cooks don't spend $20 on a frying pan or even a sheet pan.

Ok, So Let's Cook an Egg

There are only two options to frying an egg:

  • Yolk up
  • Yolk down

This is what you need to do: put your pretty new pan over a medium flame and put a little butter into it, enough so that when it's melted it just barely covers the bottom of the pan.

Take your eggs and crack them into the pan. Throw the shells away. If you are making sunny-side up eggs, you can just cover the pan and let the egg cook for about two minutes. You don't want to overcook them. The eggs will continue to cook after you take them out of the pan (this is called carry over) so sometimes eggs that are done in the pan are rubber on the plate. You might as well chew on the spatula. If you have your oven on at about 350 degrees Fahrenheit, you can just take the pan and pop it into the oven until the eggs are done. There you go--sunny side up eggs.

For over easy eggs, there's a little more to it but not much more. Over easy eggs just take practice. Get the eggs into the pan and let them cook for a minute, then tilt the pan so the eggs slide all the way to one side. Put your spatula under the eggs and then give them a gentle flip. I just flip them in the pan with a little wrist flick. You can do that, too, but I would suggest a bit of practice on your own before trying it in front of someone. For over easy, cook the second side for just 30 seconds or so. The more firm you want the yolk, the longer you need to cook it.

How to Fry an Egg

Now that you know how to fry an egg, I'll give you the real secret to over easy. For some reason, it is easier to flip two eggs than one. So if you are not very experienced with the egg flipping part, I suggest practicing with two eggs at a time. I would also suggest inviting some friends over for brunch so you don't have to eat all those eggs yourself, but that's up to you. Two last points:

  1. Never salt eggs while they are cooking. It will just make them hard.
  2. Cold eggs give better frying results than room temperature eggs.
How to Fry an Egg